Monday, May 18, 2009

Pay It Forward

As I was getting ready for work, I noticed the rubber "Pay It Forward" bracelet that was sitting in my ring holder. It's been there since my son gave it to me several weeks ago. He rushed in one evening when he heard me putting up the dishes from the dishwasher and helped me put them away. He took off the bracelet from his wrist and gave it to me and told me that I needed to do one kind act that I wouldn't normally do or get a reward for, and then I would need to pass on the bracelet to the person that I did the kind act for and encourage them to do the same. He said that he had been challenged at school to participate and now it was up to me.

While I think it's good that my son's school is promoting doing kind acts, the message really isn't a new one. Jesus shared a message of caring for others and today we are still called to give of ourselves. So why has it been so difficult for me to complete my turn...I would like for it to be a natural response rather than something I plan. Matthew 25:34-40 reminds me to show kindness-"pay it forward" so to speak, but not just because someone has done a kind act for me or because of what a bracelet says. I'm called to kindness & love because I love my Lord and my God.

Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you? The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'

This situation has challenged me to pray that this become a natural response in my life and that I'm willing to show kindness to everyone (even when it might inconvenience me).

Monday, May 11, 2009

Thoughts on seeds...

As I work in the garden I've been thinking about seeds. The cool thing about seeds is that just one little seed can be responsible for a plant and eventually a whole bunch of seeds and fruit. Planting one seed will produce untold amounts of good food for many people. Jesus said that the Kingdom of Heaven is like this, one seed produces a lot of fruit. He also said that the Kingdom of Heaven was like seed that was sown on different types of soil. My prayer is that you are a seed that landed on fertile soil and that you are producing a lot of fruit for the Lord.


This week, thousands of students across the country will shake the hands of thousands of school administrators across the nation, receiving the "ol’ sheepskin." Moms and Dads will shed a tear, graduates will throw strange cardboard caps in the air, and everyone will cheer. Graduation marks a milestone in life. A thousand commencement speakers in a thousand auditoriums will remind these former students "this is not the end, it’s the beginning." How true.

I’m glad that when we follow Christ, we never graduate from serving the Lord. We make transitions to different areas of service. We find new opportunities and avenues of ministry. We see new and exciting victories. The scripture describes it this way:

Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.
(1 Corinthians 15:58)

Even when we are called home to heaven, we don’t stop serving the Lord. We begin an eternity in His presence. Think of the possibilities! I’ll bet that’s really a great graduation celebration!

So to all those finishing your education, earning a degree, or simply waking up this morning - this is not the end, it’s the beginning. Make it a good one!